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Odisha cops detain agitating villagers, face more protest

For the last two days, a section of displaced persons had brought operations of the coal mine project to a standstill demanding a fair rehabilitation deal.

Published: 03rd January 2022 11:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2022 11:22 AM   |  A+A-

Police

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

ROURKELA: Hundreds of villagers led by Sundargarh MLA Kusum Tete on Sunday laid seige to Hemgir police station demanding release of 50 protestors detained for paralysing operations of NTPC’s Dulunga coal mine project.

For the last two days, a section of displaced persons had brought operations of the coal mine project to a standstill demanding a fair rehabilitation deal.

In a bid to end the protest, Hemgir police put 50 agitators under preventive custody on the day. 

Tete said the agitation will continue till the administration paid heed to the demands of displaced villagers. “After waiting in vain for several years, the displaced persons resorted to strike from Friday after informing the administration and NTPC authorities.

For several years, the Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meeting has not been convened to address the grievances of the displaced villagers. It appears that the objective of NTPC and the administration is to snatch land of poor villagers by using police force,” the MLA alleged.

She demanded unconditional release of detained villagers. The administration should immediately hold talks with villagers and convene RPDAC meeting to sort out their grievances. 

Sources said 28 male protestors have been detained at Hemgir police station while 22 agitating women are under preventive custody at R&R Colony in Manoharpur. 

The agitators alleged that a section of the project-affected villagers of Dulunga, Majhapada and Beldihi, who were originally landless, were given four decimal homestead land each by the administration. However, they were later displaced without proper rehabilitation. In the RPDAC meeting in 2017, they were promised two acre land each.  

Last year, two groups of married daughters of the displaced families had twice disrupted operations of Dulunga mines over denial of Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) benefits.

The administration has initiated efforts to disburse benefits to one group of married daughters but sought time to address the demands of the other.
 



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